Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 12. EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES [24000 - 28160]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 3. Brakes [26301 - 26522]

  ( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 2. Operation of Brakes [26450 - 26458.5]
  ( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

26450.
  

Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a service brake system and every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be equipped with a parking brake system. Both the service brake and parking brake shall be separately applied.

If the two systems are connected in any way, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one part, except failure in the drums, brakeshoes, or other mechanical parts of the wheel brake assemblies, shall not leave the motor vehicle without operative brakes.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 369.)

26451.
  

The parking brake system of every motor vehicle shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) The parking brake shall be adequate to hold the vehicle or combination of vehicles stationary on any grade on which it is operated under all conditions of loading on a surface free from snow, ice or loose material. In any event the parking brake shall be capable of locking the braked wheels to the limit of traction.

(b) The parking brake shall be applied either by the driver’s muscular efforts, by spring action, or by other energy which is isolated and used exclusively for the operation of the parking brake or the combination parking brake and emergency stopping system.

(c) The parking brake shall be held in the applied position solely by mechanical means.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 774, Sec. 8.)

26452.
  

All motor vehicles shall be so equipped as to permit application of the brakes at least once for the purpose of bringing the vehicle to a stop within the legal stopping distance after the engine has become inoperative.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

26453.
  

All brakes and component parts thereof shall be maintained in good condition and in good working order. The brakes shall be so adjusted as to operate as equally as practicable with respect to the wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle.

(Amended by Stats. 1959, Ch. 2183.)

26454.
  

(a) The service brakes of every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold the vehicle or combination of vehicles under all conditions of loading.

(b) Every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, at any time and under all conditions of loading, shall, upon application of the service brake, be capable of stopping from an initial speed of 20 miles per hour according to the following requirements:

Maximum
Stopping
Distance
(feet)

(1) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or fewer persons, including the driver, and built on a passenger car chassis   ........................

20

(2) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 10 persons, including the driver, and built on a passenger car chassis; vehicles built on a truck or bus chassis and having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less  ........................

25

(3) All other passenger-carrying vehicles  ........................

35

(4) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less  ........................

25

(5) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds, except truck tractors; combinations of a 2-axle towing vehicle and trailer having a GVWR of 3,000 pounds or less; all combinations of 2 or fewer vehicles in driveaway or towaway operation  ........................

35

(6) All other property-carrying vehicles and combinations of property-carrying vehicles  ........................

40

(c) Every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, at any time and under all conditions of loading, shall, upon application of the service brake, be capable of developing a braking force at least equal to the percentage of its gross weight according to the following requirements:

Braking force as a percentage of gross vehicle or combination weight

(1) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or fewer persons, including the driver, and built on a passenger car chassis  ........................

65.2

(2) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 10 persons, including driver, and built on a passenger car chassis; vehicles built on a truck or bus chassis and having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less  ........................

52.8

(3) All other passenger-carrying vehicles   ........................

43.5

(4) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less   ........................

52.8

(5) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds, except truck tractors; combinations of a 2-axle towing vehicle and trailer having a GVWR of 3,000 pounds or less; all combinations of 2 or fewer vehicles in driveaway or towaway operation  ........................

43.5

(6) All other property-carrying vehicles and combinations of property-carrying vehicles  ........................

43.5

(d) Every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles, at any time and under all conditions off loading, shall, upon application of the service brake, be capable of decelerating to a stop from 20 miles per hour at not less than the rate specified in the following requirements:

Deceleration in
feet per second

(1) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or fewer persons, including the driver, and built on a passenger car chassis   ........................

21

(2) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 10 persons, including the driver, and built on a passenger car chassis; vehicles built on a truck or bus chassis and having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less  ........................

17

(3) All other passenger-carrying vehicles  ........................

14

(4) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less  ........................

17

(5) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds, except truck tractors; combinations of a 2-axle towing vehicle and trailer having a GVWR of 3,000 pounds or less; all combinations of 2 or fewer vehicles in driveaway or towaway operation  ........................

14

(6) All other property-carrying vehicles and combinations of property-carrying vehicles  ........................

14

(e) Upon application of its service brakes, a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles shall, under any condition of loading in which it is found on a public highway, be capable of stopping within the distance specified in subdivision (b) and developing only the braking force specified in subdivision (c), if braking force is measured by a performance-based brake tester that meets the requirements of functional specifications for performance-based brake testers for commercial motor vehicles and braking force is the sum of the braking force at each wheel of the vehicle or vehicle combination as a percentage of gross vehicle or combination weight.

(f) Upon application of its emergency brake system and with no other brake system applied, a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles shall, under any condition of loading in which it is found on a public highway, be capable of stopping from 20 miles per hour in a distance, measured from the point at which movement of the emergency brake control begins, that is not greater than the distance specified in the following:

Maximum
Stopping
Distance
(feet)

(1) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or fewer persons, including the driver, and built on a passenger car chassis   ........................

54

(2) Passenger-carrying vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 10 persons, including the driver, and built on a passenger car chassis; vehicles built on a truck or bus chassis and having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less  ........................

66

(3) All other passenger-carrying vehicles  ........................

85

(4) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less  ........................

66

(5) Single-unit property-carrying vehicles having a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds, except truck tractors; combinations of a 2-axle towing vehicle and trailer having a GVWR of 3,000 pounds or less; all combinations of 2 or fewer vehicles in driveaway or towaway operation  ........................

85

(6) All other property-carrying vehicles and combinations of property-carrying vehicles  ........................

90

(g) Conformity to the stopping-distance requirements of this section shall be determined under the following conditions:

(1) Any test shall be made with the vehicle on a hard surface that is substantially level, dry, smooth, and free of loose material.

(2) The vehicle shall be in the center of a 12-foot-wide lane when the test begins and shall not deviate from that lane during the test.

(h) For purposes of this section, “GVWR” means the manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating, as defined in Section 350.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 208, Sec. 21. (AB 2906) Effective January 1, 2017.)

26455.
  

In respect to any motor vehicle designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property which is not equipped with a plate or marker showing the manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating, for purposes of stopping distance requirements, the weight of a vehicle shall be determined as follows:

(a) Any motor vehicle having less than six wheels is the equivalent of a vehicle having a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds.

(b) Any motor vehicle having six wheels or more is the equivalent of a vehicle having a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

26456.
  

Stopping distance requirement tests shall be conducted on a substantially level, dry, smooth, hard-surfaced road that is free from loose material and where the grade does not exceed plus or minus 1 percent. Stopping distance shall be measured from the instant brake controls are moved and from an initial speed of approximately 20 miles per hour. No test of brake performance shall be made upon a highway at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

26457.
  

Special mobile equipment, logging vehicles, equipment operated under special permit, and any chassis without body or load are not subject to stopping distance requirements, but if any such vehicle or equipment cannot be stopped within 32 feet from an initial speed of 15 miles per hour, it shall not be operated at a speed in excess of that permitting a stop in 32 feet.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 517.)

26458.
  

(a) The braking system on every motor vehicle used to tow another vehicle shall be so arranged that one control on the towing vehicle shall, when applied, operate all the service brakes on the power unit and combination of vehicles when either or both of the following conditions exist:

(1) The towing vehicle is required to be equipped with power brakes.

(2) The towed vehicle is required to be equipped with brakes and is equipped with power brakes.

(b) Subdivision (a) shall not be construed to prohibit motor vehicles from being equipped with an additional control to be used to operate the brakes on the trailer or trailers.

(c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following combinations of vehicles, if the combination of vehicles meets the stopping distance requirements of Section 26454:

(1) Vehicles engaged in driveaway-towaway operations.

(2) Disabled vehicles, while being towed.

(3) Towed motor vehicles.

(4) Trailers equipped with inertially controlled brakes which are designed to be applied automatically upon breakaway from the towing vehicle and which are capable of stopping and holding the trailer stationary for not less than 15 minutes.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 121, Sec. 1.)

26458.5.
  

Pursuant to Section 26458, whenever a motor vehicle is equipped with an additional control to operate the brakes on a trailer, that control shall not be used in lieu of the service brake control, except in the case of failure of the service brake system.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 316, Sec. 1.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH2